If you have one of these cards, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter. This means if you spend the full $1,500 each quarter, you can earn a total of 30,000 points a year (6,000 points + extra 24,000 bonus points) per card. If you have both cards, you can earn double that amount.
The 5 cash back Chase Freedom categories vary each year but they tend to be pretty similar.
Chase Freedom Calendar 2020 5% Bonus Categories
The Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for 2020 are as follows:
1st quarter (January 1, 2020- March 31, 2020) – Gas Stations, Internet, Cable & Phone Services and Select Streaming Services.
2nd quarter (April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020) – Grocery Stores, Fitness Club & Gym Memberships and Select Streaming Services.
3rd quarter (July 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020) – Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. Activation period closed.
4th quarter (October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020) – Walmart and PayPal. Activate by December 14, 2020 here in order to earn the 5%.
Just to compare to last year, below are the Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for 2019 .
Chase Freedom Calendar 2019 5% Bonus Categories
The Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for 2019 are as follows:
1st quarter (January 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019) – Gas Stations, Tolls, Drugstores.
2nd quarter (April 1, 2019 – June 30, 2019) – Grocery Stores (not including Walmart and Target Purchases) and Home Improvement Stores.
3rd quarter (July 1, 2019 – September 30, 2019) – Gas stations and streaming services.
4th quarter (October 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019) – PayPal, Chase Pay & Department Stores.
Interested in another 5% cashback card? You might want to consider a Discover card.
As you can see the bonus categories for 2019 are similar to the 2018 and 2017 categories (see below).
Chase Freedom Calendar 2018 and 2017 5% Bonus Categories
The Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for 2018 were as follows:
1st quarter 2018 – Gas Stations, internet/cable/phone services, Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay.
2nd quarter 2018 – Grocery stores (not including Walmart and Target), PayPal and Chase Pay.
3rd quarter 2018 – Gas Stations, Lyft and Walgreens.
4th quarter 2018 – Department Stores, Wholesale Clubs and Chase Pay.
The Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for 2017 were as follows:
1st quarter 2017 – Gas Stations and Local Commuter Transportation.
2nd quarter 2017 – Grocery stores (not including Walmart and Target) and drugstores.
3rd quarter 2017 – Restaurants and Movie Theaters.
4th quarter 2017 – Walmart and Department stores.
Here is the link to the Chase Freedom 5% calendar on chase.com.
Don’t Forget to Activate
Please note, that in order to earn the 5% you must activate the offer each quarter (by text, email or other methods). If you have a Chase Freedom and have signed up for email reminders you should have already received an email asking you to activate this quarter’s categories. If you have not yet activated the 5% for this quarter, you can register now or any time during the registration period and earn the full 5% for the entire quarter retroactively. Registration for the fourth quarter of 2020 has started and ends on December 14, 2020.
Overview of the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card
The original Chase Freedom card is no longer available for new applicants but Chase just introduced the new Freedom Flex card which is similar but even better.
While both cards earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in rotating 5 percent bonus categories each quarter, the Chase Freedom Flex also earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on drugstores and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), and 1% on all other purchases.
Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex are technically cash back cards only and points earned cannot be directly transferred to airline and hotel loyalty programs. However, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business Preferred or Ink Plus, you can transfer your points from your Chase Freedom account to one of those cards and then from there to the various Ultimate Rewards travel partners. See related post How To Combine or Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Between Accounts.
The Freedom Flex is currently offering a signup bonus of $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in first 3 months AND 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.